Matt Chat 137: Kingdoms of Amalur, Reckoning

Matt Barton's picture

Hi, folks! I'm back this week with another retrospective--or rather, a review of a new action-RPG called Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. I usually don't like this genre, but this time the developers have done a good job uniting action with strategy. Above all, else, I like the speed of this game and the excellent control you have over the character. R.A. Salvatore, Todd McFarlane, and Ken Rolston have done some good work here.

Download the mp4.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
"Can muddle through it"

"Can muddle through it" that comment is why i have a problem with this game. If i cant lose... even if i can just tap buttons randomly where is the challange? This was my Number one complaint. Battles, even boss's are not a challange.. (i am playing on HARD). They seem to think challange is having a boss who spawns enemies non stop. Since this game has a wonky target system it can be diffucult to pick specific enemies. And in these Boss battels have a specific BOSS in the middle of enemies he spawns. The enemies are easy enouhg to dispatch, but the BOSS just creates more, hence your challange is not killing hte BOSS but finding a way to target him though the chaff. The game picks your targets based on your direction and location of the mobs.. the only other game mechnic for difficluty in battels is STUNS.. and most mposnters have a JUMP/SYUN attack ( love the body slam of the Ettis).. again.. i cant see the challange. every battel turns into a Dodge fest, throw a few shots, dodge. For a challange i have got to the point in BOSS battles i wont use a health pot (during). and so far the Spider lady ( again) is the only one who proved kinda hard without pots.. if timing "just happens" to faover the mobs.. and you get 3-4 spaced stun jumps.. you can take a beating.. YOU CAN DO NOTHING when stunned.. so basicly some unlucky mobs can keep you "locked" for 5 seconds.. heck a wolf pack with more than 4 can on really rare ocassions keep you in a never ending stun.. NO way to damage them back, no way to dodge I have only seen it twice.. so challange is either unwinable contests, or overwhelming mobs with a poor target system?

YES THATS A HUGE RANT and a singel part of the game... and its only as i LIKE the game alot. But a game that is 50% combat 50% eveything else.. its a major flaw in my mind. And they have already said they are working on making combat harder (as it and camera view are the major complaints). I just cant see anyway they can do major changes to combat the way its designed? faster enmies ( no chance to dodge, cant do that, it effectivly eliminates dodge as an option). Slower dodge speeds? maybe but in BOSS battles im not sure it would be wise.. swap dodge for spamming health pots? no big change to me, spam one button or the other? About teh only way i can see is just adding enemies.. and then the stun lock issues comes into play. I guess the next update will tell the tale.

I would easiely recomend the game. its lacking a bit in the explore area as it 100% pre defind its not a mass land you can go anywhere in... but a bunch of open areas with halls to the next one. Combat is simple... way simple.

OH ya the WARD system on chests BLOWS BLOWS HARD.. its annoying as heck. whoever disigned it should be banned from mini game making for LIFE!!!!! You can blow a load of points making it automtic.. but as there are only a couple mini game skills (you can beat if you are good at mini games no matter what) its dang painfull to pump those points into that instead of stuff where the game figures the math.. and those points would do alot more good.

I alos liked the graphics but felt they where kinda Low tech.. looked good .. Alot like WOW.. and from my understanding there is a reason for it.. they are making a MMORPG based on this world and this engine so its been kept low key so many machines would run it.. very littel problem with this. kinda cartoony but it seems Plants vs Zombies and WoW like graphics are more liked then realistic.. so thats just a personal prefrence.

another good matt chat

clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
I do have a question, do you

I do have a question, do you guys do all the quest? I finished it today (as a mage) and after i pumped non stop time in the early levels to doing all quest, now most of the non MAJOR story quests where gray mobs... :( So i kinda just lost interest in them and did the main one. I think "if" i play it over i may skip the early stuff and do more of them later now.. Sword and board if i do.. never was as good stealth person. Last half of today Was playing DEAR ESTER... a game i cant really describe.. but its quite fun, and hard to quit playing.

Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Thanks, Clok. Just between

Thanks, Clok. Just between us, I'm really disappointed with the muddy video. For whatever reason, the lag was horrible, making it just about unplayable through my capture card. I've heard that you can split the composite signal, but wouldn't that make it even muddier? I think if I do another video from my 360, I'm definitely going to invest in an S-VIDEO adapter (that's the highest my current capture card allows).

It might be time to revisit the various solutions out there to capture HD footage and such. If I'm going to keep making videos of current games, it'd really be a useful tool, especially since my PC often chokes trying to capture footage.

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
A good solution
Matt Barton wrote:

It might be time to revisit the various solutions out there to capture HD footage and such. If I'm going to keep making videos of current games, it'd really be a useful tool, especially since my PC often chokes trying to capture footage.

It's obviously very difficult to avoid some type of lag when you're trying to both capture and play on the same PC. I can't recommend the Avermedia AverTV HD USB capture device enough (it's what I used for the screenshots in the "My Xbox" book). It does composite, S-Video, and most importantly, component (at 720p), and it has full pass through capabilities to another display (composite through HDMI), which I think is the most important feature. This way your PC can do its thing and you play on a separate TV or monitor as normal, with no lag whatsoever. I've even been successful in some cases uses HDMI to component converters to be able to capture from devices that only offer HDMI output. Obviously that all depends on the situation and use case--for instance, if you try to capture over HDMI with a console, they'll let you record a videogame, but not a DVD or BluRay movie due to the copy protection (for the DVD screenshots in the book, I had to drop down to S-video). There's another strange anomaly, where I can capture the output of my iPhone over HDMI, but not my iPad. Go figure.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
it was dark, that may be the

it was dark, that may be the biggest complaint I would have. BUT the game is very dark at the begining. I think you did a great job describing the game acurat, and with some humour. I consider myslef a nerd and geek and didnt get either refrence, i bow down to your geekatudie? or is it geekiness? Lagg could make this game impossilbe that is for sure, while i dont consider it hard (combat) it does require timed attacks and dodges, lagg would make that impossible. I was alos a bit dispointed with Staff's... i have a million cool cuiriass (or whatever the round mage weapon is named).. and like 5 staff's. And robes... what the hell? I wore the same one throuhg 2 maps (areas/ whatever you call um, the forest desert areas) But i got a tone of daggesr that whre nice.. a few swords.. seemed like the game was geared more to melee then casters.. but im guessing it was just unlucky drops..

Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Thanks, Bill. That device

Thanks, Bill. That device looks perfect for 360 and PS3 captures, though I don't think it will help me with my PC recording issues. The only outputs I have on my graphics card are HDMI and 2 DVIs. Is there some kind of converter for component that would maintain the quality?

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
It's not easy, but it can be done
Matt Barton wrote:

Thanks, Bill. That device looks perfect for 360 and PS3 captures, though I don't think it will help me with my PC recording issues. The only outputs I have on my graphics card are HDMI and 2 DVIs. Is there some kind of converter for component that would maintain the quality?

I detailed how I converted HDMI to component here: http://armchairarcade.com/neo/node/4462 . Essentially I went from - in this case - the OnLive MicroConsole's HDMI output to a ViewHD YPbPr/VGA converter to the AverTV. I maintained 720p quality throughout the chain, which you can see in the video. There's no reason it won't work from a PC assuming it's not protected video content, like from a DVD or BluRay.

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Shawn Delahunty
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Joined: 08/01/2011
Matt, you owe me a keyboard

Melodramatic Narration:

"From the beginning, we were wrong. And only now, well into the second decade of the conflict, do we begin to understand the mistakes we have made..."

Matt:

"Sounds like 3D Realms."

This + hot coffee = scorched nose + wet moustache + soggy keyboard + hysterical laughter.

Keep 'em coming! Looks like a good game, despite the video capture issues.

-Shawn

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Shawn Delahunty
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Joined: 08/01/2011
Oh Lord, I AM a Nerd...

Matt:

"Imagine a cat, strapped into a steel cage..."

Every cat needs a name. Can we call him Schroedy?

Thank you SO much for giving me flashbacks to college physics... Now I'm gonna have nightmares for a week, all revolving around me dashing around campus, trying to find my Physics final. (And I'll probably be freaking out because I'm wearing pajamas, or no pants... Or is it only me who has those anxiety dreams??)

-Shawn

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Karl (not verified)
WoW is better X)

WoW is better X)

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